Wounded and injured ex-servicemen, who are supported by Help for Heroes’ Sports Recovery programme, all lifted Personal Bests (PB) in their respective categories at the Manchester Para-Bench Press Autumn Open last weekend (Saturday 3rd Oct) at Houldsworth Village, Stockport.
Former Staff Sergeant, Micky Yule, who served with the Royal Engineers, lost both of his legs above the knee when he stepped on an IED in Helmand Province. Micky lifted 193kg to take second place in the Light Men’s category.
Micky was a part of the Army powerlifting team pre-injury, and has used the sport as a huge part of his rehabilitation and recovery, culminating in a fourth place at the Commonwealth Games and gold at the Invictus Games last year.
Help for Heroes are very proud to have supported Micky in his recovery, enabling him to go from strength to strength in his sport, with the Rio Paralympics his ultimate goal in 2016.
Micky was joined at the competition by other serving and former servicemen supported by Help for Heroes who are starting out in the sport, who were discovered through British Weight Lifting and Help for Heroes’ joint Pathway2Podium initiative to uncover and introduce military personnel to Para-Powerlifting. Both Richard Webb and Ross Austen lifted PBs; 94kg and 132kg respectively. Antony Cooper competed for the first time.
Jayne Kavanagh, Performance Pathway Manager in Sports Recovery at Help for Heroes added: “Congratulations to Micky, Ross and Richard on what was a really strong performance for all three. Micky’s lift of 193kg is a significant step on his quest to the Rio Paralympic Games next year. It’s also fantastic to see Richard and Ross progress in the sport, and to see how much they are getting out of the training and competition.”
“We are working with a group of people who have been through some of the most extraordinarily tough times, they have known life before that injury so you are managing people who have got such a strong background and a significant trauma.”
“You're seeing people who are developing those resilient skills, and that is why sport is so powerful in that it has psychological and physiological benefits that enable them to cope and manage better. That is what we are trying to do, along with their national governing bodies, to help them transition effectively and rebuild their life after injury.”
The support provided to the competitors forms part of the Help for Heroes’ partnership with British Weightlifting and the British Paralympic Association to introduce military personnel to Paralympic Sport.
In order to allow athletes with a range of bodyweights and disabilities to compete fairly, placings were calculated with an adjustment for bodyweight, meaning the heaviest weight lifted was not always the winning result.
Help for Heroes has been involved with Sports Recovery since 2008, and in the past year alone have put on 300 events across 50 different sports enabling over 2,100 wounded, injured and sick service personnel and veterans to take part in adaptive sports from grassroots through to performance level.
To find out more about Help for Heroes’ Sports Recovery Programme follow @H4H_SR on Twitter.